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History of Lawn Bowling
The sport known today as lawn bowling began in England in the 13th century. While lawn bowling has become very popular in England, it was not always so. In the 1200s people in England began playing a game based on the Italian sport “Bocce” which had been brought to the country by Julius Ceasar’s followers. They used stones or iron balls to play this game and called it “lawn bowling”. Lawn bowling immediately caught on in England and by the 14th century it was extremely popular. In the 1300s the King of England, Edward III banned lawn bowling. Because it was so popular, men stopped practicing archery (shooting a bow and arrow) and started playing lawn bowling. The king was worried that men would not be able to shoot a bow and arrow any more because they were spending their free time lawn bowling. While this may not seem like a big deal to us today, archery was extremely important back then because it was an important skill for a man to have in war. After Edward III, Richard II, the new King of England continued the ban on lawn bowling. In order to encourage English citizens to stop lawn bowling, the government fined people sums of money if they were found playing the sport in public. The sport eventually came across the Atlantic Ocean to North America. Players in Scotland, although technically under the rule of the King of England, ignored the ban and continued to practice lawn bowling. Though some Americans took up the sport, it became more popular in Canada than the United States. Even today, lawn bowling is very popular in Canada.
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